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'Would love to come back to India to interact with first Indian superhero'

Would love to come back to India to interact with first Indian superhero
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Mumbai: Benedict Cumberbatch's connection with India goes back to his teenage years and the "Doctor Strange" star says he hopes to return one day to interact with the country's "first superhero".

The British actor, who took a gap year after his school to travel to Darjeeling to teach English at a Tibetan monastery, fondly remembers his six-month-long stay in India.

"I love your country. I love your cultures. It feels like I was there almost a lifetime ago, in my late teens for six months of teaching, exploring and travelling as well. I'd love to have an excuse to come back and if that's to interact with the first Indian superhero, bring it on," Cumberbatch told PTI in a virtual roundtable interview for his upcoming film "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness".

Part two of Marvel Studios' "Doctor Strange" (2016) marks the 45-year-old star's fifth appearance as Dr Stephen Strange aka Sorcerer Supreme in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

When quizzed which Hindi movie actor he believes can be part of the MCU, the London-born actor asked for options and when suggested the names of Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan, he said, Khan is great.

The two-time Oscar nominee, also known for his work on the TV series Sherlock and films The Imitation Game and The Power of the Dog, said he is aware of the popularity of Doctor Strange films enjoy in India and hopes to deliver another entertainer with the much-awaited sequel.

Scheduled to be released in theatres across India in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam on May 6, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has collected over Rs 10 crore in pre-sale booking in the country, according to distributors.

"It's very exciting to know the level of anticipation there is with pre-sales. I'm hugely grateful to my fans in India for supporting me throughout my career. I hope (this film also does well), but I'm not taking anything for granted," Cumberbatch said.

"The only reason these films are watched is that we try to better them every time during the making of them individually. We are working tirelessly for it to be a success globally," he added.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is directed by Sam Raimi and also stars Elizabeth Olsen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, Michael Stuhlbarg and Rachel McAdams.

The sequel follows Doctor Strange as he tries to contain the aftermath of the multiverse-fracturing spell he cast in the 2021 hit film Spider-Man: No Way Home - which caused villains from across the multiverse to spill over into the central Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline.

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